Friday, October 31, 2008


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thoughts on dogs

1. Sometimes dog-owners dress up their dogs in human-style clothing--this is rarely a good idea.

2. There are two types of dog accessories: the practical (normal collars, leashes, canteens--such as those strapped to Swiss Alp Rescue St. Bernards) and the absurd (bejewelled collars, sunglasses, bandanas, nail polish, hats).

3. As a child my family had two Australian Shepherds. My father named them Calvin and Zwingli, after the reformers. Ironically, Calvin's coloring was black and white (Zwingli was brown and white, I'm not sure if there was any theological significance in that). One day Zwingli bit a young girl and was "put to sleep." (Side note: this seems a peacefully inane euphemism--put to sleep--I wonder what the effects on human execution would be if we labeled it thus.) After much thought I cannot recall how Calvin died, I believe I might have discovered my first repressed childhood trauma.

4. Sometimes dogs are treated like humans.

5. Sometimes people act like dogs. I am not repeating a cliche here. When my brother was a toddler he did everything in his power to be a dog. In our backyard he would sleep with them, eat with them, crawl in the dust on all fours with them. My mother would not allow him to defecate like them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Dodgers...

...are awesome.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Evangelical Strategies

The other day I participated in an impromptu-blog-response-section-debate on Proposition 8 on. Here are a few of my thoughts...

The issue of homosexuality has become so political that it is almost impossible to speak to the morality of the issue without becoming entangled in rhetorical he-said-she-said.

Homosexuality is a sin, just like any other sin, and should be treated as such. The Church’s strategy for evangelization of homosexuals should be the same as those we ought to employ for sins such as lawlessness, rebellion, murder, immorality, liars, and perjurers; in other words, “The goal of our instruction,” should be “love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

Notice that some of the sins on previous list are moral issues punishable by state (murder, perjury, etc) but others are simply moral (immorality and telling lies)–but the Christian’s response is the same regardless. We simply do not care about State sanctioned distinctions, because we have one law (Christ’s) which calls us to love.

Christians should not attempt to legislate morality simply because it is a bad conversion strategy. Politics are wonderfully energizing, exciting, and inspiring (as long as you are firmly planted inside one party), but those on the other side of the issue are separated purposely by divisive language and political hyperbole.

The loser of a political debate, campaign, etc. is hardly likely to suddenly see the world through the other lens; they will merely be scarred and bitter about the overstatements and unnecessary insults that fly in the heat of the moment.

The question becomes, what the role of the church is in society? I believe that the overwhelming message of Jesus is for the church to be an agent of transformation and redemption in the world. Once that point is established, it is left to us to figure out the best ways for us, as the church, to achieve those goals.

So then, what is more effective in bringing homosexuals to Christ? Honest, humble, discourse with actual gays and lesbians, or Proposition 8? Respectful dialogue, or poling booths?

Colbert is a word twisting genius

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reasons for monarchy

Republicans and Democrats.

I am so sick of each side being unable to cooperate for even ten minutes.

McCain suspends his presidential campaign to go back to Washington and address the economic issues. Now the flurry of pundit hypothesizing...

Democrat punditry:

"This is obviously a thinly veiled political ploy?"
"Cancel the debate? What, can McCain not multitask? Because Presidents are never called upon to handle multiple things at once!"

Republican punditry:

"Oh this is noble. McCain is being a leader. He is showing this country what kind of President he would be!"
"He really stuck Obama here. McCain requests bi-partisanship, and Barack is forced to either follow a Republican's lead, or show himself unwilling to work with the other side."

Good Lord help us. We are staring down the barrel of the most serious economic catastrophes in the past half-century, and cannot stop posturing for one second. Really?

The fact is that both McCain and Obama are the de facto leaders of their parties. It seems almost overwhelmingly obvious that they both need to be in Washington right now. And working together. And making sure everyone else is working together.

At the moment I don't want to hear anything from an elected official but "we've all locked ourselves indoors and for the past 72 hours and survived on nothing but coffee and donuts. We banged our partisan heads together until we found a solution to this economic crisis that we believe will work. Thank you for your patience."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


$700,000,000,000. That is too much

The bailout amount should be $360,000,000,000, that way the national debt would be an even $10 Trillion. That folks, would be symmetry, and I feel that symmetry of very, very large quantities of money should be what we shoot for at this point.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Has anyone else noticed how they keep playing the theme song from Rudy at the Republican National Convention?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kristin, close your ears and squint tightly

Yesterday was my father-in-law's birthday. We went to a restaurant tucked away in the hills between Highway 101 and Malibu. The restaurant was dedicated to game food. Taxidermal heads and shoulders of once large animals lined the log cabin walls: bucks, elk, moose, even an ibex.

I had the Texan antelope served with apricot glaze and caramelized cous cous. It was delicious and smokey.    

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I hate Andruw Jones.

If you are a Dodger fan, then you probably know how terrifyingly awful Andruw Jones has been this season. You have probably heard that his batting average is .167 and that he strikes out every 2.7 at bats. More than likey you have counted up all the zeros in his salary and wondered whether that many shots of tequila would be enough to obliterate the whole painful situation from memory. It probably would not be, and your hangover wouldn't even approach Ned Coletti's headache.

Maybe you are one of those people who had high hopes when the Dodgers signed Jones last summer. You thought to yourself, "Ok, he had a bad year in 2007, but he still hit 26 home runs. He is Andruw Jones, he'll bounce back. He hit 51 in 2005. That's alot. He's only 31. He has 10 Gold Gloves and is a 5-time allstar. $36.2 million over two years is probably too much, but he's Andruw Jones. Juan Pierre can't even throw the ball to second base." You became warily starry-eyed, willing to set aside a troubling trend in hopes of a return to glory. You overlooked the fact that you had always disliked Andruw Jones and his lackadaisical-looking, one-handed basket catches and smug little smiles. You were even willing to glimmer over that bulging waistline (as long as that heft's in Dodger Blue right! Right?...)

Well, things are even worse than they seemed. Much worse.

Jones has a VORP of -14.6.

(VORP stands for "Value Over Replacement Player." The number basically represents the number of total offense above or below the level that an average replacement--most likely from the minor leagues--could reasonably be expected to produce.)

Jones salary for the 2008 season is $14,726,910. In essence the Dodgers are playing him $1,008,692 for every negative run his presence on the field costs the team as opposed to throwing some adequate minor leaguer out there. I suppose to make the numbers fair in terms of cost you would have to subtract $390,000 (the minimum MLB salary of the replacement player) from the total, but I don't really feel like being fair. Especially since Jones does not play over some adequate minor leaguer. When Andruw Jones plays, Andre Ethier sits. Ethier has a VORP of 10.1 (notice that this is a positive number). Therefore, the actual number of diminished offense everytime Andruw Jones is on the field is -24.7.

24.7 runs over the course of a season is no small thing. 24.7 runs over the course of a season could very realistically cost the Dodgers their division.

Small Victory

She is wearing a bright orange sweater and black slacks.
She makes some sort of comment about how my brown leather shoes don't match my khaki slacks and light blue shirt.
"Did Halloween come a little early this year?" I ask.
(Side note: holiday dress on normal days is usual fare for this woman. She has a pair of red crocs dotted with snowmen that she wears regularly. In July.)
A few minutes later she is at the snack island. She asks me if I would like a piece of candy.
I say Sure.
"What's the magic word?" she says, dangling the chocolate in front of me.
"Trick or Treat?" I ask.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Female Dwight just became frustrated at her computer and used the phrase - "Son of a Camel!"
I am currently mulling over what exactly this phrase means.
Today's Big Thing was a little girl climbing up inside of a stuffed animal claw machine. Pretty awesome. Just thought you should know.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Day Sometime in June

I am sitting at my desk. My computer has just booted up. I hear Dwightina stomping up the stairs. She walks like a wooly mammoth. I hear her stop behind me. I ignore her and keep typing. "What's up Banana Boy?" Dwightina says. I am wearing a muted yellow polo shirt, I assume this is what she is talking about. I swivel slowly around in my chair. She is standing in front of me wearing bright orange Crocs, blue jeans with rhinestone designs on the pockets, and a white tee-shirt with a picture of a race car on the front and the words "I Live By the Quarter Mile." Our company has a business casual dress code. Dwightina's outfit is especially bad for her, but not unprecedented.
"Um, white tee-shirt?" I say.
"No, I mean that is just a very bright shirt you have there."
"Um, white tee-shirt?"
"Very preppy."
This time I just point at her shirt. She looks down, and then back at me blankly. I swivel back to my computer screen.

I get a phone call from a nurse at the Hospital.
"Good morning, How can I help y..."
"Our fax machine in ICU is eating paper and making a screaming noise. We need somebody over here STAT."
STAT she says. I want to tell her that she is not a doctor. Don't tell me STAT unless you have a PhD. You are a nurse. Doctors tell you that. It's not a term you get to throw around with me.

12:00 - 1:00
I buy a sandwich from Subway and then wander aimlessly in Borders.

1:00 - 5:00
Nothing much happens in the afternoon. Sometimes the phone rings. The air-conditioner switches on. A little while later it shuts off. I mostly pass the time with random Google searches. Did you know that Hyenas give birth through their urethra? Apparently it is one of the most painful experiences that any living thing experiences. I feel pity for a few seconds; then I remember how annoying Whoopi Goldberg's character was in The Lion King, and I'm back to hating Hyenas.